The Spread of Food Cultures in Asia

The spread of food cultures in Asia. Edited by Kazunobu Ikeya. Osaka : National Museum of Ethnology‎, 2019. 238 p. (Coll. “Senri ethnological studies” ; 100). ISBN : 978-4-906962-75-4

Actes de la session “Histoire” organisée par Kazunobu Ikeya (National Museum of Ethnology, Osaka) et Françoise Sabban (CCJ-CECMC) lors de la 6e Asian Food Study Conference, tenue à l’université Ritsumeikan du 3 au 5 décembre 2016.

Les titres et résumés de chaque contribution sont traduits en chinois.

La contribution de Françoise Sabban (pp. 23-34) est intitulée : “An experience of otherness : conceptions of Chinese and European diplomats about foreign food practices (18th-19th century)” — 差异性体验 : 18-19世纪中国和欧洲外交官对于外国饮食习俗的看法.

Résumé de l’article de Françoise Sabban

The first official Chinese envoys were sent to Europe and the US between 1866 and 1885. Their members wanted to better understand the apparent western superiority after the two opium wars. Their travel diaries contain detailed, fresh reporting of western day life. Whereas western interests in China had been very high since the 16th century through the activities of Jesuits, the first attempt to install European official diplomatic representation in China dates to the end of the 18th century. The most famous tentative was that of Lord Macartney in 1792, and soon after, in 1794, a ‘Dutch East-india Company’s embassy to the court of the Emperor of China’ was undertaken. Neither were successfull in obtaining commercial facilities in China. A century later, after the opening of the country by the British through the first opium war and signing of the Treaty of Nanking, the French Lagrené embassy was very profitable for the French, who signed a trade treaty with the Chinese government in 1844. Of course, for both westerners and Chinese, food was not the most important topic of their observations. However, foodways were always a good excuse for singling out oddities in foreign habits. Chinese travellers of course made comparisons with their own practices, but their good manners usually prevented them from making any personal assessment. On the contrary, western travellers were highly influenced by their previous knowledge of China, whether positive or negative, and always manifested their appreciation of the foods that were served to them. Neither side interpreted their misunderstandings as the manifestation of another unknown food system, but rather as a mysterious and incomprehensible foreign strangeness. Nonetheless, they sometimes explained the differences through the ‘inversion’ concept of another world in which everything would work in reverse.

Cet ouvrage est disponible à la bibliothèque du CECMC.

Le sommaire et la plupart des contributions de ce numéro sont disponibles en ligne sur les archives ouvertes du Musée national d’ethnologie d’Osaka.

Monique Abud

Centre d'études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine, EHESS, Paris, France

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Monique Abud

Centre d'études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine, EHESS, Paris, France

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